Heads Blog – It’s half term!

It’s half term!

What a few weeks it has been. Despite the trials and tribulations of the past few months it has been wonderful to be back at school and working alongside our amazing staff and students.

As you know, we have had our share of Covid related issues, but I feel we have dealt with them well and ensured the safety of our school community. We have provided work and a digital device where needed and we have also ensured no child has to worry about being hungry because they are away from school. I feel proud of that.

We have had to close just one class bubble since September and despite that we were able to support learning by delivering 25 hours of Live Teaching for those students throughout this past week. In truth, because of technology, it is easier to do this when an entire class is away. We are not yet at the stage where we can allow individuals students to interact with live teaching taking place with classes in school, but we are working on it. Having said that, our Blended Learning provision via Microsoft Teams and our online learning platforms has been well received because of the content and the alignment to our curriculum in each year group. As always, your feedback is most welcome.

On Wednesday this week I was invited for a three-course meal which was prepared and cooked by the students of class group 711. I arrived at 2.15pm and was escorted to my table and presented with a menu. I ordered orange squash to accompany my starter of Meatball and Tomato soup which arrived very promptly. I then had Sweet and Sour Chicken Wraps followed by Brownie Bites and Strawberries. The students looked after me brilliantly. At the end I gave my views on each course, though the empty plates were enough for them to know I was happy! They were magnificent and they all signed my menu as a keepsake of a very special and memorable afternoon.

We have also been celebrating our wonderful students by holding our Red-Carpet events this week. I have been thrilled with the way our new Positive Learning Strategy has been embedded and the fact that it focuses on our student’s positive attitude and behaviour. We had over 1200 students accessing those events this week as a result of their positive and proactive approach to their learning. They are getting it right in lessons every day and are being recognised and rewarded for it. It has been a special week for the staff and students, and I can’t wait until Christmas to do it all again.

We had our first Virtual Parents’ Evening last night. I must admit being very anxious about the whole thing. We consulted on the best route forward for communicating with parents and carers and all agreed that face to face conversations were better than written reports which can, at times, be a little soulless. The evening was a huge success and the feedback received from staff and parents/carers has been incredible. Of course, there were a few issues with technology at the outset, but these were sorted out quickly and the evening went very smoothly. This has given us the confidence to continue like this whilst we are restricted by the current circumstances and we are very much looking forward to doing it again as the year progresses.

We have been celebrating sporting success in recent weeks too. As many of you know, Creative Arts and Sport are very important to me. I want to celebrate the achievements of our students, write to them individually and mention them in my Blog. We are proud of them and understand the sacrifices involved for any young person who is doing remarkable things in and beyond school. I feel that there is a strong link between hard work and success, and one is rarely achieved without the other. We have been celebrating the following students over the past couple of weeks:

Year 7 – Harry who has been selected to represent the Bradford Schools U12 football squad for the 2020/21 season

Year 8 – Jamie who has been selected to represent the Bradford Schools U13 football squad for the 2020/21 season

Year 8 – Ollie who has been selected to represent the Bradford Schools U13 football squad for the 2020/21 season

Year 10 – Charlie who has been awarded a Rugby League scholarship with the Bradford Bulls.

I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of any young person who is doing remarkable things outside of school, but the truth is that we are not always aware. Please let me know about how your children are doing and I will do my best to recognise those achievements throughout the year.

Finally, thank you to you all for your support this half term. It has not always been easy, but you have placed your faith in us to get things right for your children. You have sent messages of thanks and support and you have also told us when you think we could be doing better; it all helps. Have a wonderful and safe half term holiday and take care of one another.

See you all on the 2 November when school re-opens.

Simon

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